It’s that time of year again and Last Christmas is all over the radio. If that doesn’t quite get you into the mood for the Holidays, maybe contemporary, classical, or traditional Christmas music will.
Drop the shopping bags, sit back, relax, and listen to some good seasonal music. The following pages offer free and legal online Christmas music downloads. We’ve also thrown in sheet music resources because maybe you’ll find the time to give that old guitar or piano a workout.
Download Single Songs
Our first site provides “free holiday music from top indie artists”. The collection includes contemporary and traditional tunes, as well as vocal and instrumental interpretations. In addition, you’ll find seasonal sounds and audio files of Christmas stories for the kids.
You can stream the music on the site and download MP3 files.
At New Christmas Music, you will find new (contemporary) Christmas songs and traditional Christmas carols. The collection includes O Christmas Tree, O Holy Night, Silent Night, Joy to the World, and Jingle Bells. Some songs are available in different versions. O Holy Night, for example, comes in an instrumental and a vocal recording.
Downloads are available in several different formats, including MP3, WMA, and MIDI. Some songs also feature a rather useless Flash animation. You can preview MP3 and WMA files in your browser. To download a tune, right-click the file format, e.g. MP3, and select Save link as…
If you feel spoiled for choice and have no idea where to start, do it here. The site features only 24 traditional Christmas songs, and each comes with a brief description. For example, did you know that Jingle Bells was originally named One Horse Open Sleigh or that the original version of Silent Night — Stille Nacht — was written by Austrian author Franz Gruber and was translated into 300 languages?
All downloads are MP3 files.
For twenty years, Uncle Dave has been recording instrumental versions of traditional Christmas tunes. You can stream the songs and download MP3 and MIDI files.
While all songs on this site are in the public domain, “these arrangements are copyrighted as derivative works by David M. Latchaw”. That said, you’re welcome to use Uncle Dave’s music if you provide a link back to the source.
The Christmas Carols available on A-M Classical come with a Creative Commons Attribution license. This means you are free to use the recordings in any way you please, as long as you credit the original creator.
Bandcamp is a great site to discover new music. Many artists offer entire albums for free, though you’re welcome to pay for what you enjoy. Before you download anything, you can preview the music in a free stream.
Folk singer Loren Radis, for example, covered popular Christmas tunes like White Christmas or Last Christmas.
Andrew Palmer & Sarah Handy recorded jazz versions of White Christmas, Santa Baby, and other classic tunes.
7. NuBeat Music
All albums featured on NuBeat Music are free. In the Christmas Albums section, you will find instrumental music, beats, rhythm, and many traditional Christmas songs. You can stream each tune and for most songs you can also download lyrics. The only downside is that you need to download albums one song at a time.
Maybe you prefer to play your own music. Then these sites are for you.
Regardless of what instrument you play or what skill level you’re at, this site has the matching sheet music. The Christmas section covers over 130 songs. For each instrument, you can stream a MIDI file, set the tempo, and follow green highlights through the sheet. Click a section on the sheet and the MIDI will jump to that section too.
To print multiple pages at once, you have to subscribe to the site.
Here you’ll find copyright-free sheet music for popular Christmas carols. In addition to multiple different sheets, you’ll also find a MIDI file for each carol and simple lyrics.
All sheets come in printable PDF format.
If you play the piano, you will appreciate this Christmas sheet music source. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, you’ll find sheets suitable for your skill level. Some songs even come with video tutorials.
Bonus: All of It
This last site has it all: classical and traditional music, sheet music, MIDI, and MP3 files, all on one page dedicated to Christmas music and carols. You’ll find arrangements for guitar and other instruments, along with printable PDFs of the sheet music, and media files you can download.
Each song has its own dedicated page, featuring its backstory, history, and all available files.
What’s on Your Christmas Playlist?
Everyone has their own favorite music or memories attached to certain songs. If you’re allergic to Last Christmas, for example, you won’t want to listen to the radio in December. So be your own DJ and curate your very personal playlist.
Which tunes get you in the mood for the season? Please share your favorites with us!
Image Credit: janews via Shutterstock.com
Originally written by Tina Sieber on December 5, 2009.